Less than a fifth of British people are planning to go on holiday abroad this year, a poll has found, as coronavirus “air bridges” finally come into force today.
Although they can now fly to dozens of foreign destinations as lockdown restrictions are relaxed, a poll by Redfield & Wilton Strategies for MailOnline found the vast majority of Britons do not intend to leave the UK for a holiday this year.
Just 17 per cent of people plan to holiday abroad this year, while 22 per cent plan to go on holiday somewhere in the UK. As many as 54 per cent said they have given up on the idea altogether for 2020.
The UK government has confirmed that Brits can travel to more than 70 countries and British Overseas Territories without needing to quarantine.
As well as European destinations, the travel corridor includes far countries including Vietnam, New Zealand and Japan.
However, many countries in South America, Asia and Africa are not on the list because they still have high rates of the virus. The US, Canada, Portugal and Sweden are also all excluded from the list.
The Foreign Office has relaxed its ban on “all but essential” global travel for 67 countries. However, travellers from any destinations without a travel corridor will still have to quarantine upon their return to the UK.
The World Health Organisation has warned that the coronavirus pandemic is still rising globally, meaning holidays this year will be very different to normal in most places.
Another poll yesterday indicated that many countries are not sure if they want British tourists, as infection rates are still relatively high in the UK.
On the Balearic Islands police have been given the power to fine holidaymakers £90 if they fail to wear coverings outside their hotel rooms.
Tourists will also not have to wear a face covering in restaurants and bars.
Spanish authorities are concerned about a potential rise in infections on the Balearics – which have some of the lowest rates in Spain – after a mass arrival of tourists.
Police have already shut down several illegal parties without masks or social distancing in Majorca and Ibiza.
It emerged today that Serbia is being removed from a list of where people returning to or visiting England can avoid quarantine.
The UK Government announced today that the Joint Biosecurity Centre and Public Health England has removed Serbia from the list of quarantine exemptions.
It had been included on the list of 76 countries and territories from which people arriving into England will no longer need to self-isolate for 14 days.
However, after two nights of violent clashes in Serbian capital Belgrade between police and thousands of people protesting against coronavirus lockdown measures, and 17,342 reported cases in the country, it has now been taken off the list.
The Labour Party welcomed the government’s relaxation of the quarantine for some countries.
However, shadow transport secretary Jim McMahon criticised ministers for failing to secure agreements with more destinations to accept UK visitors without restrictions.
He said: “The fact they have been unable to negotiate air bridges is an indictment of their failure to tackle the crisis at home.
“They were too slow to take lockdown, too slow to order PPE (personal protective equipment) and too slow to protect our country.
“Labour has consistently called for a sectoral deal that supports the whole aviation industry including the supply chain based on our six conditions.
“Tory ministers have failed to act and workers are paying the price and trips are being cancelled.”